We've always loved the garden at Brimmer & Heeltap—a soulful neighborhood hub, so we're thrilled to see the verdant space evolve into a welcoming cafe. Not far from the heart of Ballard, wander through the gates off NW Market Street to find Red Arrow Coffee, a brand-new service that's open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
As you stroll into the tranquil, small studio in the back, you'll find staff pulling espresso and serving fast, casual eats. The small menu includes tempting treats like tapioca puff chips, a garden salad with local greens and veggies, a pimento cheese sandwich (house biscuit, scrambled egg, bacon, arugula) and the house grinder on a hoagie roll.
Due to COVID-appropriate adaptations, the main restaurant isn't currently open for seating, but guests can enjoy hanging out in the garden or studio space, where the garage door remains open for air flow. Patrons are asked to wear a mask once they leave their private area and to always maintain six feet distance from others.
We recently caught up with owner Jen Doak, who says she's been surprised - and extremely delighted - to see how quickly regulars have returned to this familiar community space.
Seattle Refined: When and how did this concept come to be?
Jen Doak: I had toyed with the idea of how to make the property more revenue functional all day for quite some time. I would often sit back in our private dining space with a cup of coffee doing my computer work and thought to myself, "This would make such a great coffee shop and café." Necessity and opportunity created the impulse to make it happen.
Why did it feel like the right move for your business at this time?
Our space is so small and, in order to keep our crew and guests safe, it felt like the best pivot to test how people could leave their homes, step into our business to enjoy quality products in a charming space.
What are you most excited about on the menu?
Oh, how I loathe this question. Our daily bake of scones and muffins might be my favorite way to start the day, and the tuna sandwich might be the perfect lunch for me! Our bar manager has also curated a few bottles of fun amaro and liqueur for boozy coffee/tea options! See how I avoided your question. Wink wink.
How does it feel to be able to gather members of the community once again?
There are no words to describe the joy. The best compliment we received this week was, “This is the first time I’ve felt any ounce of normal.” We are meeting new folks in the neighborhood and dear regulars. It’s absolutely the best!
Any tips or tempting words for potential visitors?
The garden is insanely beautiful right now. You can watch birds bathe, get lost reading a book at the fire pit, open your laptop in the corner, all while sipping and eating something tasty!